Town Crier: My inner Pilgrim craves wild turkey

MONTCLARION: November 11, 2010

I met my first turkey hunter today. He’s eaten wild bird and says it’s quite tough. What a buzz-kill. I’ve been fantasizing for years about bagging my own Thanksgiving dinner.

If you think about it, wild turkey should be tender. We pay a premium for free-range chicken and our beef comes from cows that graze in endless fields of clover. Why wouldn’t wild turkeys with an organic diet be tastier than frozen birds trucked in from Turlock?

The Pilgrims didn’t go to the store for a Butterball. They hid in the bushes and gobbled until a fat waddler emerged, and they killed it. Then they plucked it, roasted it, held hands and prayed. I doubt they complained about how much dark meat was on a bird that was getting too much exercise.

So I’m keeping wild turkey on my list of foods to try before I die. If anyone is cooking one up this year, call me. I’ll come by with a plate and my baster.

CRIME WATCH: Thieves are getting gutsy, even by Oakland standards. A contractor having lunch in his vehicle in the Village last week caught two guys trying to steal a skylight from the bed of his truck. They pulled their rig right up to his and boldly tried to lift the big box into their truck for a quick getaway. The would-be victim jumped from his vehicle and was able to scare them off.

THIS AND THAT: Since potholes are the gift that keeps on giving, readers are asking me to rerun the OaklandPublic Works web address. Go to and find the online form for repair requests in the upper right side of the home page. One reader reports four of the five requests he’s submitted have been promptly addressed.

Speaking of roadwork, expect some inconvenience when Montclair Elementary School starts work on a new addition next summer. Two Village parking lots are slated to close during construction — a problem for merchants and shoppers who use these lots during nonschool hours.

TRAIL TALK: The long-promised Shepherd Creek Trail is one step closer to completion, thanks to a new pact between the city and the East Bay Regional Park District. Reader Mike Petouhoff says Oakland and the district have accepted a land-swap proposal with neighbors who have property along the trail. It’s all pending, of course, on the land owners’ approval, but Petouhoff calls it a major breakthrough in creating a scenic creekside trail.

PUMPING IRON: She’s 86, and she’s never felt better. OK, that may be a stretch, but Carol Lucerno has gone from limited mobility to walking long distances and even lifting weights. Her secret, I’m told, is a three-day-a-week workout at Ant’s Mind and Body on Telegraph Avenue in Oakland. The gym is known for developing young athletes in town. It’s nice to see their methods work for those of us who aren’t quite so spry.




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